Wednesday, September 27, 2006

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye for an eye for...

News and comments swirl around another “intelligence report.” According to the media, this report represents the consensus view of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. I had forgot that there are 16 agencies gathering intelligence. And I was amazed, at first, that 16 agencies could reach consensus on anything. That may show how obvious are their conclusions.

The document is called a “high-level” intelligence report, and was classified. But portions were leaked, and Bush has now declassified four pages of the 30-page document, “so that everyone can draw their own conclusions about what the report says.”

On one hand, I am not sure four of thirty pages are adequate for that. On the other, I am amazed that four pages of a 30 page consensus report by the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies is thought necessary to tell the world what nearly everyone already knows.

I do wonder, however, what surprises may be in the other 26 pages. Nonetheless, following is a short summary of the released pages. See if there is even one surprise in them.

* The Iraqi war is described as a “major catalyst for Islamic radicalism around the world.”

* One of the main conclusions reads: “We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”

* The report also says that al-Qaida is now exploiting the war to attract donors and recruits. Further, it states that fighters with experience in Iraq are likely to function as leaders in a new generation of jihadists.

* The Iraq conflict is described as a recruiting tool for Islamic militants, a training ground for Muslim jihadists, and a laboratory for new terrorist methods now increasingly being exported to other countries.

* According to the media report, the veteran analysts concluded, “Despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in number and in geographic reach since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.”

See what I mean? Nearly everyone knew all that before those portions of the document were released. Perhaps that is why the four pages of the 30 were declassified. But, as I said, what is in the other 26 pages? And why do they remain “classified”?

Anyway, the comparative few who will refuse to believe the released information may be either the radically religious, who see the Mid-east conflict as some kind of crusade, or those Republicans who would support any leader they voted into office simply because they are incapable of believing that they may have voted for the wrong leader.

There is another group who may neither believe the report nor care what it says. Some of them are both thoughtful and articulate. I think they are also wrong. They seem to believe it does not matter what devastation the war has caused, how many innocent civilian deaths, how many military casualties, how many parents and widows and orphans now grieve, how much money is spent, how much corruption exists among war profiteers, how many lives are disrupted, how many marriages ended, how many laws broken, how many lies told, and how much the rest of the world objects. In their minds, past terrorist actions against this country justify everything the administration has done and will do both to our own laws and citizens and to terrorists and innocent civilians in other countries.

Not only do they dismiss any criticism as unpatriotic, but they also seem to see no other option than what the leaders they voted into office pursue, and they repeat the administration talking points robotically. “Better to fight them there than here,” for example. Better for whom is not a consideration.

Won’t pursuing “an eye for an eye” long enough leave everyone blind?

~ ~

22 Comments:

Blogger Eliza said...

Hi, sorry to contact you via your comment field, but I can't find another way. I was wondering if you'd like to trade links with me and my blog, we have similar interests (although our writing styles differ a little). MY blog is http://addtofavourites.blogspot.com If you're interested in linking to each other, please email me elizaw(AT)gmail.com (AT) = @

9/27/2006 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Aussie said...

Yes, the world already knew the information released from the longer report. But it is good to see an official confirmation of what the world has known about you blokes. Thank God you have term limits!

9/28/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating analysis. You should get picked up by bigger blogs as a correspondent. Keep writing.

9/28/2006 9:51 PM  
Anonymous alex said...

Sad, isn't it, that anyone who offers criticism or suggestions is considered by the radical right wingnuts to be advocating cut-and-run. First they start the needless war and kill thousands, then they say they have to continue the war and killing or those who died won't be honored. Let's really "support the troops" and get them out of harms way of this horrific religious civil war we started with our lies and invasion. Listen to Representative Murtha!

9/29/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This entire "Oh! We've made them angry at us by attacking them!" debate leaves me stunned and exhausted. What is it that you seriously consider to be the alternative? Thucydides, Nicias, Alcibiades and the Athenian Admirals would feel so at home among you – horrified, but at home.

We discussed the Iraq war on your previous post toppling reasons for invading iraq, and probably got about as far as we can on that question, but the present and future remain open - what do you suggest?

Do you somehow believe that these Islamo-whatever-the-hecko-you-wanta-call-em are going to stay put in the middle east and not bother us if we pack up and go? They have been trying to goad us into fighting and running since the 70's (Actually since Eisenhower let them nationalize Western oil companies property, but might lead us a bit off track), high jacking airliners, murdering athletes, nightclub bombings, kidnappings, bombing buildings over there, bombing airliners, hijacking cruise ships, bombing buildings here, bombing naval ships, 9/11, Bali, Madrid, London, murdering film makers - to say nothing of what they do to their own people... the list is far longer before 9/11 than after.

I am at a loss to imagine what your alternative is, the FBI?

These are people who are intent on crushing or destroying all those who will not bow down and submit to what they say their God says, and I just can't see what alternative means of negotiation, deal making, threats - you have in mind to stop them.

Quite simply, they - meaning those who do the terrorist deeds, those who lead thousands of people in chanting "death to America", those Gov't's that support them, and those men, women and children who (like the Germans & Japanese before them) find it easier to let them stay in power than to overthrow them, need to be bombed, shot, imprisoned and bombed some more until they are so horrified at the fruits of their chants that they will never consider whispering the word jihad again.

I do not say this lightly, I have an 18 year old seriously considering the military, and another only a few years behind him - the thought of them being involved is an ever close feeling of dread.

There is no other way of shutting them down - do you read the things that Ahminijihad in Iran, or any of the firebrand mullahs are exhorting their followers to do?

"Won’t pursuing “an eye for an eye” long enough leave everyone blind?" only if we continue to pretend that we can pursue a War as a proper place for arbitration by the ACLU - if on the other hand we pursue it intelligently, coldly, savagely and ruthlessly to its proper end; in that case it won't leave them everyone blind, it will leave them dead.

9/29/2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Hello, again. My response to your comment is long, and, of course, incomplete. But it was good to read your posting and to think and formulate some replies in a discussion. Thanks for sharing your time and ideas.

Van said... This entire "Oh! We've made them angry at us by attacking them!" debate leaves me stunned and exhausted.

My reply: I do not believe my comments say exactly what you have interpreted, Van. It is true that we have increased both the number and ferocity of terrorists with our unprecedented invasion of a country that held no terrorists before we invaded. In fact, Saddam hated bin Laden as one who posed a threat to his carefully controlled “peace” between factions in his country. So we have, indeed, made them angry, but the inclusion of “Oh” in your comment seems to be saying that I am wringing my hands as some sort of bleeding heart sissy who didn’t want to do anything to “upset” the terrorists. Surely you cannot believe that. People opposed to war against innocents in a country do not believe the terrorists themselves should go unpunished. But perhaps you see no innocents among Muslims anywhere.

You asked: but the present and future remain open - what do you suggest?

My reply: You ask a good and exceedingly tough question. We are in such a mess worldwide that there is now no easy answer, if there ever was.

It is always tempting for one with an opposing view of what was done to repeat what he thinks should or should not have been done. I, too, fall into the trap of criticizing past actions that have been well documented and thoroughly discussed, like not invading Iraq, but concentrating more troops in Afghanistan seeking al-Qaeda and bin Laden, and not backing off when he was trapped to let the Muslim brothers of Afghanistan and Pakistan let him slip away while pretending to seek him.

And like letting Hans Blix and the UN inspectors finish their job in Iraq where they were on the ground, searching sites at will, finding no evidence that Saddam had a WMD program and reporting that all evidence pointed to it having been dismantled in the late nineties. But the Bush League (Cheney, Rove, Rice, Rumsfeld) invaded, anyway. And we decided to hate the French for, in effect, believing Blix rather than Bush.

Like disbanding the Iraqi army, letting them take their weapons home, and making it necessary later to reorganize, recruit, and train security forces…slowly. (When I was in the army, a hundred years ago, I once spent a little less than four months as part of a training cadre who took new recruits through basic training and made them soldiers before the entire newly trained division (and I) went to Germany. Four months to make a division from recruits at one site.

Suppose there were eight or ten sites doing that. Ten divisions in four months! How long should it take to train Iraqi security forces?

I spoke to an army recruiter last week who told me our recruits today go through nine weeks of basic training, then from four weeks to a year, depending on their army specialty or officer training, before going over seas. Nine weeks, plus as few as four more. We have been training Iraqis for three years and counting. Ever wonder what is going on?)

Or, since we did invade and destroy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (as punishment for the attacks in New York?), perhaps we should not have allowed looting of the museums and shops in the country. Perhaps we should have placed guards at the huge weapons storage facility outside Baghdad so that Iraqis could not have raided it and taken all that weaponry. And more.

But as you said, we are in, now. We have, in fact, caused the civil war and increased terrorism by those actions. So be it. I should move on to today and tomorrow.

You said: Do you somehow believe that these Islamo-whatever-the-hecko-you-wanta-call-em are going to stay put in the middle east and not bother us if we pack up and go? They have been trying to goad us into fighting and running since the 70's (Actually since Eisenhower let them nationalize Western oil companies property, but might lead us a bit off track), high jacking airliners, murdering athletes, nightclub bombings, kidnappings, bombing buildings over there, bombing airliners, hijacking cruise ships, bombing buildings here, bombing naval ships, 9/11, Bali, Madrid, London, murdering film makers - to say nothing of what they do to their own people... the list is far longer before 9/11 than after.

My response: You have compiled a fairly complete list. It is varied and includes a number of attacks that were punished/revenged by means other than invading nations not responsible. Perpetrators of Lockerbie were caught. So were the bombers of the Cole. Israel sent agents who slowly, methodically, sought and killed every one of those involved in the murder of their Olympic athletes. Hijackers have been captured or killed in most cases.

And we did not destroy other nations to do all that. We now seem to operate a little like the ridiculous story I once heard about a woman who told the school principal that if her son got into trouble, the teacher should smack the kid who sits in front of him. She said that boy probably was involved, too. And besides, her son was smart enough to stop if he saw the other’s punishment. (I know, that is nonsense and hardly applies. But I was reminded of it with a smile, and decided to include it for your possible amusement.)

Our country is also not innocent of “murdering” people who had nothing to do with the terrorist acts, as were the allied filmmakers you mentioned, for example. We have bombed, shot, and even raped and tortured citizens innocent of any wrong except, perhaps, for your label of being Muslim. Those actions do not excuse those of the terrorists. I am not suggesting that. I am only trying to see the world through Iraqi eyes, too, yet I cannot fully do that. But I am trying to see that all conflicts have at least two sides.

You said: I am at a loss to imagine what your alternative is, the FBI?

My reply: I’ll come back to this. But you aren’t far off, though your context and meaning, I assume, were meant to ridicule the notion.

You said: These are people who are intent on crushing or destroying all those who will not bow down and submit to what they say their God says, and I just can't see what alternative means of negotiation, deal making, threats - you have in mind to stop them.

My reply: I do understand that you “just can’t see what alternative…” I believe you. Do you mean “what alternative” to destroying all Muslim countries and killing all Muslims? Do you really believe all Muslims are intent on killing all non-Muslims?

You said: Quite simply, they - meaning those who do the terrorist deeds, those who lead thousands of people in chanting "death to America", those Gov't's that support them, and those men, women and children who (like the Germans & Japanese before them) find it easier to let them stay in power than to overthrow them, need to be bombed, shot, imprisoned and bombed some more until they are so horrified at the fruits of their chants that they will never consider whispering the word jihad again.

My reply: “So horrified at the fruits of their chants that they will never consider whispering the word jihad again?” You ascribe more fruit from their chants than I do, but even if their chants create more terrorists than our invasion without chants would have done, I can’t believe you seriously advocate destroying all who demonstrate against us.

Are you aware of the millions of people worldwide who have demonstrated against American Iraqi policies? In our own country and from Canada to Europe to the Far East, millions have demonstrated. Should they all be bombed for their chants and failure to support U.S. deeds, starting, of course, with France? I joke.

And you are blaming the unarmed and ignorant peasants and citizens of Muslim countries for not rising against the heavily armed and sadistic leaders who control the armies and sometimes protect the heavily armed secretive terrorists?

The French had a tough enough time at the Bastille with pitchforks against muskets. Let’s see the Iraqi and Iranian citizenry go up against their leaders’ armies and the vicious, armed terrorists now skulking about in their countries. Remember China? Facing down a tank didn’t stop the tanks. Remember Hungary? Freedom Fighters were briefly victorious, until Russian military might rolled in. But you blame the citizens of various nations for allowing leaders with armies to do bad things?

Then will we citizens of America not also be blamed for allowing our leaders to do as they have in this war killing innocent men, women, children? Or can those other people you indict not be innocent if they are (1) Muslim; (2) “allowing” armed, tyrannical governments to exist in their country?

You said that they all “need to be bombed, shot, imprisoned, and bombed some more…”? Then, by your logic, should those among us who demonstrate either for or against the war be bombed, shot, etc., by those who are either against or for the war. There may be people who think we “need” to be.

I remember my father-in-law reading about the Los Angeles Watts riots and declaring, “They wanta stop the violence? Then the cops should line all the sons-of-bitches up and shoot them.” Fortunately, LBJ didn’t try to do that.

You said: I do not say this lightly, I have an 18 year old seriously considering the military, and another only a few years behind him - the thought of them being involved is an ever close feeling of dread.

My reply: I understand and empathize, Van. We tend to want other people’s kids to fight, kids we do not know. No one in our country wants to send his own offspring into battle. Perhaps least of all, George Bush. Even those who send their kids with pride and a tear, and who believe in the cause, would rather they did not go. It surely is a dread you feel. We all feel some of it. I hope your two remain safe.

Were I a psychologist, I might wonder if your notions of killing them all were not tied to the dread and impending possibility of your own sons becoming personally involved. I am reminded of the movie “Same Time Next Year.” At one of the couple’s tryst week-ends, “George” surprises his paramour by advocating that America use the H–bomb to end the fighting in Viet Nam. We learn a few minutes later that his uncharacteristic venom is prompted by the recent death of his soldier son by a sniper in Nam. Suddenly his call for total and sweeping vengeance is understood.

You said: There is no other way of shutting them down - do you read the things that Ahminijihad in Iran, or any of the firebrand mullahs are exhorting their followers to do?

My reply: Again, it seems to me you are advocating the eradication of Muslim nations and of Muslims. What would those mullahs think of your advocating that? Would they not see you as needing “shutting down”? I don’t see that, but try looking at what you advocate through their eyes.

Are you saying that our armies are then to occupy barren lands sitting over huge oil deposits? Aren’t you saying that lining them all up and shooting the citizens of those countries is the way to end the violence, since violence is what their leaders advocate? As did Louis Farrakhan. Was my father-in-law right?

You said: "Won’t pursuing “an eye for an eye” long enough leave everyone blind?" only if we continue to pretend that we can pursue a War as a proper place for arbitration by the ACLU - if on the other hand we pursue it intelligently, coldly, savagely and ruthlessly to its proper end; in that case it won't leave them everyone blind, it will leave them dead.

My reply: ACLU? Is this another attempt to ascribe stereotypical, hand ringing, bleeding heart feelings to me? Again, who said anything about ACLU arbitration? You say, “It won’t leave [them] everyone blind, it will leave them dead.” Wow! Perhaps, then, a few well-placed nuclear bombs over Muslim countries is what you would prefer? Wipe them out?

But you surely mean only the terrorists and their leaders. Well, I am also for getting them. But must we also spend billions of dollars and thousands of military casualties to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians who are not terrorists? Oh, and the phrase “…to its proper end,” you must also know, is a judgment statement that presupposes you know what is proper.

Shakespeare has Macbeth say something about the killing he has done and more he sees that he will do. I am paraphrasing (meaning I’m not going to look it up) Macbeth: We are in blood stepped so far that to go back would be as far as to go o’er.

That seems to be America’s dilemma now. We are in it so far that it seems we cannot go back. And I won’t repeat the “shoulda, woulda, couldas” from above.

We see terrorists multiplying like hydra heads, growing faster than we can lop them off, and we are not Hercules. We see our invasion turning Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorist training and a civil war. We see the rest of the world aghast at our leders' lies, torture, actions. We see our own nation divided, roughly 60-40, against some of what we are doing. (Not against getting the terrorists!) Yet we citizens do not rise up to stop it, as you suggest the Muslims should have done against their leaders.

I don’t even think, in spite of the low approval ratings, that Bush will lose his majority in the Senate and House come November. I predict there will be issues, real and imagined, that will have a majority of voters decide to “stay the course,” for we are in blood stepped so far that to go back would be as far as to go o’er.

You ask for alternatives. I see no quick fix. But the Iraq war doesn’t seem to be a solution, either. Here are a few “perhaps steps” in pursuit of a long-term solution.

Perhaps we should discuss/debate at the highest governmental levels the ideas of Murtha for truly supporting our troops by pulling them back from Iraq to bases from which we can strike at the enemy. Then apologize for creating the climate that has spawned the civil war there and tell the Iraqis to do as you suggest they should have done: “Step up and put down the bastards.” We’ll even give them the arms so that they have more than pitchforks to attack their “Bastille.”

Perhaps we should concentrate on getting bin Laden and the leaders and members of al-Qaeda rather than killing civilians by the tens of thousands, making tens of thousands more turn against us.

Perhaps we should work to repair alliances, trust, respect within our country and with other nations. Begin with the truth.

Perhaps we need to learn, accept, and admit more about why we are in the Middle East and more about the reasons we are hated there.

Perhaps none of these long-term steps toward a “solution” would be wholly successful either. But it seems certain they will not be considered or discussed under the present leadership.

Therefore, my suggestion for our first step toward solving the dilemma is to change our leaders! And shut down their war profiteering supporters.

You suggest that the extremowhatevers “have been trying to goad us into fighting and running since the 70's…”

My response: Fighting and running? I am not sure of your intent by including the word “running.” It does, indeed, look as if they have been goading us since at least Ike watched them blow up hundreds of Marines in the Lebanon barracks without retaliating. Still, the word “goad” may be one to discuss. Were they goading us into a fight? Or were they “hitting and running,” themselves, in retaliation for perceived insults and “invasions” of their culture and lands?

Do you subscribe to the Bush propaganda that terrorists “hate Americans for our freedom”? That they hate us for being (mostly) Christian? That they hate America for being a democracy? Do you really believe those simplistic reasons are why they have been “goading” us all these years?

If those were the “ideals and beliefs” behind al-Qaeda, then why would they pick fights with superpower America? It would be so much easier for them to go to terrorist war first with Canada, Mexico, even Switzerland, or any number of other mostly Christian nations whose people are also free to live in a democracy. Why not knock off all those “freedom loving infidels” before tackling a superpower that has large armies and super weapons if, as you say, they are determined to rid the world of all who do not see their god as the God? Why not start the elimination of infidels with easier targets? For if they simply hate us for the reasons we are told, then they must also hate Canada, Mexico, etc., etc., for the same reasons. Or could there be other reasons for their hatred of America?

Bin Laden said decades ago that one of his ultimate dreams was to get Americans out of the oil corporation enclaves and military bases in the sacred Muslim lands of his Saudi Arabia. Perhaps we need to consider that aspect of his belief system. No, I don’t mean we should immediately remove our people from Muslim territories because of his wishes. But perhaps trying to get inside his twisted mind would help with our present need to gain international understanding and support. We simply have not done a good enough selling job of our reasons to have permanent bases in, among other places, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and, now, Afghanistan and Iraq. We do not publicly acknowledge bin Laden’s feelings about our occupation of lands he believes are defiled by our presence. We say, instead, that he hates us for our freedom. Nonsense.

I realize that comparisons and analogies are simplistic, at best, and become more unbelievable the further one extends them. Nevertheless, consider an imaginary (and impossible) scenario.

Imagine that wealthy Mexican agricultural corporations, over time, makes deals with the states of Missouri (Hello!), Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Nebraska, and even Iowa, to operate beef packing plants in those states. And further, they expand their influence by overseeing huge ranches and a growing number of monster sized cattle feeding operations. They pay handsomely, and the states also prosper, with the U.S. land owners and leaders of the deals making fantastic sums of money. Stay with me.

Imagine that their operations within our states become so huge that they build large complexes for their workers and the families, as we have done in Arab oil countries. They build schools within the compounds and hire Mexicans to come north to teach their countrymen the same curriculum they would have in Mexico. They build stores, restaurants serving authentic Mexican food, movie theaters, and even put in car dealerships with autos assembled in Mexico for sale to their citizens.

They import their own military personnel to maintain security both within the resident compounds and at the packing plants and feedlot operations. They build barracks to house their army within our states.

They build churches and import their own Spanish-speaking priests and nuns to conduct services. In fact, almost none of the workers, soldiers, or families learn English while they occupy large portions of our country for their own profit.

The Mexicans ship most of the beef for sale in their country, but also direct sales to the rest of the world on a hugely profitable basis. Their largest corporation, “Mobil-Hexxon-El-Beefo,” based in Mexico City, announces billions of dollars profit in the last quarter, alone.
~ ~

All right, so it is a foolish analogy. But imagine. And wonder if there might be American citizens under that scenario who would be upset enough to strike at Mexico and Mexicans.

Hell, we have citizens almost at “terrorist” levels now when they think about the Mexicans who come here to work in the meat packing industry, as aliens who do not learn the language or become “Americanized,” and who send portions of their wages back to Mexico. Imagine the outcry from at least a few American “terrorists” if that were as organized as our operations in Saudi Arabia, for example.

Again, I am in no way suggesting we summarily abandon our military bases or corporate interests in Muslim lands. But, as I said, perhaps we need to understand the twisted minds of those who oppose our presence and then work to do a better job of selling acceptance of our people and our reasons for being there.

It is not a short-term solution. I think we should continue to punish the terrorists, perhaps with more undercover operations and certainly with fewer shock and awe bombings of cities and civilians. Akin to your snide suggestion of using the FBI, perhaps? More like the Israeli killing of those who murdered their athletes. We should continue to go after bin Laden and his henchmen and all the others who are avowed terrorists.

And we should seek more thoughtful, reasoned, understanding leaders for the long, tough job of rebuilding our place among nations as well as for ridding the world of the threat from terrorists, now that the world has awakened after 9/11 to that threat.

You do believe a Democrat administration would have gone after the terrorists if 9/11 had happened on their watch, don’t you? That did awaken everyone to the threat, perceived on 9/10 by almost no one within either the Bush League or the country. But Democrats were after bin Laden before Bush, who appears not to have been. If 9/11 had happened under Democrats, they certainly would have been jarred into even more aggressive actions than Clinton was criticized for pursuing.

The world changed. The world of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents has changed. The world of the ignorant and wise, religious and agnostic, angry and saddened, informed and uninformed, reasonable and irrational has changed. The world of those who want revenge against all Muslims who believe in any small way what the perpetrators believe has changed. So has the world of those who would seek punishment for the terrorists, but not for all citizens from their many lands, even if they demonstrate against our invasion. There are those who back whatever path the leaders they voted for might take, and others, just as patriotic, who may question the statements, motives, and methods of those leaders. But we are all changed by the same changing world. And Americans all want to get the terrorists!

Sorry I don’t have a pill to cure our new world in 48 hours. But let’s take the first step and replace those who have messed it up so badly since 9/11. Thanks, anyway, for your revisit to my blog site and for your thoughtful response to my post.

10/01/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your post twice and then your response to Van three times. Well done.

10/02/2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Van said...

“…a country that held no terrorists before we invaded”
• Right, it was such a peaceful land that Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, Ansar Al Islam all called Iraq their home sweet & secure home, the Clinton State Department designated Iraq a state sponsor of terrorism as early as 1993 and Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism and in 1999, Khalid Sheik Mohammed landed in America on an Iraqi passport .
• Here’s a nice laundry list http://husseinandterror.com/ of the deeds of terrorist free Iraq prior to this latest war.

“But perhaps you see no innocents among Muslims anywhere.”

• Since you feel free to draw such unwarranted conclusion about me, allow me to wonder what it is about liberals that they cannot see individuals separate from a religion or race, but seemingly must always resort to the largest collective possible? I didn’t say Muslims, I said terrorists, terrorist sponsors, and the leaders of terrorism, be they Mullahs, militia leaders or what have you.

“… Suppose there were eight or ten sites doing that. Ten divisions in four months! How long should it take to train Iraqi security forces? “
• Are you seriously equating Americans, born and raised in a civil, law abiding Western society, with Iraqi’s born and raised among murderous internal religious and political rivalries, and living under absolute dictatorship for decades? Even a relatively peaceful society such as rural Mexico would have difficulty meeting that pace under normal conditions – and no, turn off your liberal group-igotry, this has nothing to do with race or creed, but culture - look at the rolls of American servicemen for proof - the existing structure of society or lack thereof is the problem they face.

“since we did invade and destroy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (as punishment for the attacks in New York”
• Lame. See my comments on your previous post “toppling reasons for invading iraq” for rebuttal

“Israel sent agents who slowly, methodically, sought and killed every one of those involved in the murder of their Olympic athletes. Hijackers have been captured or killed in most cases.”
• You make my point - how effective has such a policy been for Israel to date?

“We tend to want other people’s kids to fight, kids we do not know.”

• I should have guessed that you would draw that conclusion. I do realize that this fight is going to go on for years and years, other than Iran, Syria & North Korea, there aren’t traditional nations to engage in traditional Western style warfare; which means that we will have to continue this hunt and kill process for years to come. I have little doubt that my kids will be in the war, and I do know a number who are involved in it now. My point was that I am not making these comments from a comfortable position thinking that I have nothing to lose by making them.

“Again, it seems to me you are advocating the eradication of Muslim nations and of Muslims. What would those mullahs think of your advocating that?”
• Again, not Muslims, but terrorists, terrorist sponsors, and those leaders of terrorism – mullahs or otherwise, by whatever name we settle on calling them by. What would they think? Why would I care? We know what they think, what they advocate, and what they practice – death and destruction delivered in the most terrifying and despicable methods conceivable. With such beliefs they leave civilization and its protections behind, and I say again, they need to be bombed, shot, imprisoned, and bombed some more until they fear ever again even whispering the word “jihad”. There will be no peace otherwise, just as there would have been no real peace with Japan had their militaristic fanatics not been utterly defeated.

“. Remember China? Facing down a tank didn’t stop the tanks. Remember Hungary? Freedom Fighters were briefly victorious, until Russian military might rolled in. “

• it is precisely those situations where, if we see it as being important to our long term interests, we should step in and help those brave souls to bring down the monsters making up their governments. I seriously hope we are following such a policy right now in Iran, and I fear we aren’t – and so have little doubt that we will be in a full scale war with them soon.

“Then will we citizens of America not also be blamed for allowing our leaders to do as they have in this war killing innocent men, women, children?”
• Citizens of a nation do bear responsibility for the actions of their leadership, which is why we have elections to determine the leadership of our country. The fact that men, women and children are killed in a war, is in no way equivalent to purposefully killing innocent men, women, children, and the constant comparisons of us to them based on such isolated details is disturbing. Some wag, I don’t remember who, once said that if Al Capone pushes an old woman in front of a bus, and Elliott Ness pushes the old woman out of the path of the bus, to say that they are both guilty of pushing old woman around is dishonest and corrupt.

“Or can those other people you indict not be innocent if they are (1) Muslim; (2) “allowing” armed, tyrannical governments to exist in their country?”

• What is this fixation you have on equating Muslim and terrorist? Did you have a similar problem with separating all Irish and Irish Catholics from the terrorists of the IRA? And yes, I fully supported the British in that conflict (even though the Brit’s were far more directly blameworthy for the root causes of that conflict)

“Then, by your logic, should those among us who demonstrate either for or against the war be bombed, shot, etc., by those who are either against or for the war. There may be people who think we “need” to be.”

• If any among us completely shuck the bonds of civilization, and resort to bombing and beheading their fellow citizens and their children, then yes of course they would merit being shot. However, if they continue to stick with reasoned argument, elections and debates, as I assume they are, then no they have nothing to fear, and I think they should be offended by such an equivocation between speaking their minds, and cutting off heads.

“But must we also spend billions of dollars and thousands of military casualties to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians who are not terrorists?”
• If they continue to hide among neighborhoods then yes, we will need to continue to spend billions of dollars on sophisticated smart weaponry to try and limit the destruction as much as possible – unless of course you’re advocating saving costs by carpet bombing them all to smithereens with old fashioned dumb bombs.

“Macbeth: We are in blood stepped so far that to go back would be as far as to go o’er”
• That you can equate Macbeth with America, rather than the likes of Ahminijihad is telling and sad. As I mentioned in our last go around, Coleridge had a phrase for Iago in Shakespeare's Othello to describe the ever varying reasons for justifying his evil deeds, he called it 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy.', and that sums the terrorists mentality up rather well, and also points out the folly of trying to understand and satisfy them.

“We see the rest of the world aghast at our leders' lies, torture, actions.”

• The rest of the world as represented by the double dealing hypocrites such as Chirac and Putin, China, Venezuela… I have no regard for such ‘leaders’ at all. Such ‘leaders’, with the possible exception of Chirac, who know first hand what real lies and torture consists of, snicker at your foolishness.

“Do you subscribe to the Bush propaganda that terrorists “hate Americans for our freedom”?”

• Essentially, yes, and I ‘subscribed’ to that evaluation fresh out of high school in the late ‘70’s – before Reagan became President, and long before Bush came on the seen. And it doesn’t need to be limited by adding “American” to it, we just happen to be the most visible representatives of freedom in the world today. It was the same reason that motivated the Spartan’s against the Athenians, the Ottomans against the Venetians, the Mahdi Army against the Brittish in the early 1900’s (no Israel then, what was their complaint at that time?) and the USSR against the West.

“why would they pick fights with superpower America? It would be so much easier for them to go to terrorist war first with Canada”

• Check the news about a month back, you’ll find a plot exposed in Canada to storm Parliament and behead the Prime Minister. We are targeted first and foremost because we are the largest and most impressive target. But any two bit thug knows you get more cred by taking shots at the cops than you do at the shopkeepers. And by the way, the scream loud, strike and run tactic has been the way of war in the non-western world (partially excepting China and Japan), as far back as history can reach.

• And you’re right, your Mexican analogy is simplistic, at best – other terms come to mind. How would we react? At our worst, we would react as we did in the 80’s, when the Japanese were buying up movie studios, selling boat loads of cars (while Detroit’s gathered the dust they deserved), building car plants, and buying landmarks such as Rockefeller Center. Our worst would show itself in possibly passing some reactionary trade regulations (by mostly leftist demagogues, though some ‘conservatives’ would get in on it too), but eventually we’d study what it was that they were doing better than us, correct it, and compete to get back on top. They wouldn’t need a military presence here because we are a law abiding Western Society - they wouldn’t need to fear our kidnapping them and cutting their heads off.

“I think we should continue to punish the terrorists, perhaps with more undercover operations and certainly with fewer shock and awe bombings of cities and civilians.”

• I disagree. And the suggestion of the FBI was not a snide one, I am simply incredulous that anyone can look at the track record of such a strategy, and still suggest it as a main tactic.

“You do believe a Democrat administration would have gone after the terrorists if 9/11 had happened on their watch, don’t you?”

• I am not as sure as I once was. I do hope so. There is no one of any stature among the democrats, other than Lieberman and (though retired) Zell Miller, who I have heard advocating proper military force – and by proper, I mean using every means that seem militarily appropriate to the military leaders and their civilian authorities to hunt down and destroy this enemy. And sadly, I can’t say that Bush & Rice are doing that as fully as they should be either, though they are head and shoulders above the Dem’s. The Democrats are constantly bemoaning the ‘lessons of Vietnam’ – however the most important ones were that undermining the leaders and the troops gets Americans killed. And if you leave your allies to the tender mercies of a country of thugs, expecting them to abide by Western style treaties, the treaties will be broken, and your allies will be slaughtered in the millions, and our national self esteem will be severely damaged at the dishonor felt by those with consciences.


I am afraid we are separated by two completely different methods of thinking. Thomas Sowell identified the ‘Liberal’ point of view as centering on outcomes as a primary – anything less than an ideal outcome, means that ‘corrections’ need to be made in the relevant processes by society to ensure the ‘proper’ outcome is attained. Conservatives tend to rely on processes – any interference in the ‘proper’ processes in order to assure a desirable outcome are seen as not only wrong, but guaranteed to ensure the desired outcome will never be achieved. Discussion, debate and argument are the only methods available for these two views to find workable ground in common – it’s difficult and messy, but it’s the best option available, or as Churchill said “Democracy is the worst of all systems – except for all the rest”, or words to that effect.

10/07/2006 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think either of you guys is going to convince the other of your points of view. It seems to me that Van has missed at least three of your points, but maybe I have. Interesting to read your arguments, though. Keep your sense of humor.

10/10/2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Van has missed at least three of your points"
I think I answered all the ones that seemed useful to answer, but which three?

"Keep your sense of humor"
Yeah,... humor's been a bit thin lately, sorry about that, you too Dana.

10/11/2006 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi
soft for windows software,news driver ,games
http://spdimon.info

G'night

1/19/2007 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi
soft for windows software,news driver ,games
http://italiagame.org

G'night

1/26/2007 1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Author, respect 2 you. Bookmark! :)
penis enlargement pill
best penis enlargement pill
natural penis enlargement pill
penis enlargement pill review
do penis enlargement pill work
enlargement penis pills
buy penis pills
cheap penis enlargement pill
penis enlargement pill
penis enlargement pill product
herbal penis enlargement pill
cheapest penis enlargement pill
penis enlargement pills
buy penis enlargement pill
natural penis enlargement
penis enlargement pills online
natural penis enlargement pill
penis enlargement drug
penis enlargement natural
See you soon!

2/14/2007 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.watiti.com

Join me and my circle of friends at http://www.watiti.com,
an online social networking community that connects
people from all over the world.

Meet new people, share photos, create or attend
events, post free classifieds, send free e-cards,
listen music, read blogs, upload videos, be part of a
club, chat rooms, forum and much more!

See you around! Bring all your friends too!

http://www.watiti.com

3/19/2007 11:07 PM  
Anonymous viagra said...

In 1998 a particular blue pill came as an angel that rescued all those tormented by the demon of erectile dysfunction. That blue pill was christened Viagra. Since then viagra has completely changed the scene of the treatment of ED. Nowadays one can even buy viagra online. Customers are reluctant to buy viagra from the local chemists for a varied number of reasons since the availability of viagra online. In order to lure the customers the online pharmacies also offer cheap viagra.

9/13/2007 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boysfirsttime papi gay sex gay gay porn gay cum gay teens gay blowjobs gay anal gay teen sex gay fuck gay anal sex gay orgy gay cock naked gay men gay fucking gay teen gay blowjob gay nude men gay hardcore gay dick gay cum shot gay masturbation gay ass gay oral gay oral sex gay cumshots gay ass fucking gay cum shots gay xxx gay cocks gay blow jobs gay blow job gay group sex gay cumshot gay dicks dangerousdongs megacockcravers cock sucking big cocks huge cocks monster cock huge cock big cock massive cocks monster cocks sucking cock giant cocks cock suckers cock in pussy gigantic cocks massive cock cock sucker large cocks suck cock giant cock hard cock cock suck dick in a pussy big dicks big dick huge dicks sucking dick girl suck a dick huge dick dick in pussy dick sucking monster dicks suck dick massive dicks dick suckers captainstabbin anal anal sex anal teen anal fucking teen anal anal porn anal virgin deep anal hardcore anal anal cum anal fuck anal penetration first anal anal insertions young anal hardcore anal sex anal sluts anal licking mature anal ass fucking tight ass ass fuck ass licking ass sex ass lick tight butts butt fuck butt sex butt fucking

12/14/2007 3:53 AM  
Blogger dgdgdf said...

http://www.bootboots.com
http://www.salelouboutin.com
http://www.buylouboutin.com
http://www.bestlouisvuitton.com
http://www.sale-mbt.com
http://www.discount-christianlouboutin.com
Velours Scrunch Boots Miss Clichy 140 boots Robot 120 ankle boots Black Suede/ Leather Lace Up Ankle boots Tina Suede Black Platform Boots Circus Cutout Suede Ankle Boots Deva 120 suede fringed Boots Sigourney Metallc Ankle Boots Miss Dark Brown Miss Suede Black Arielle A Talon ankle Boots Ariella Clou Silver Studded Boots Alta Arielle A Talon Python Short Boots Robot 120 ankle boots Gold babel shoe boots Brown Trottinette 140 ankle boots Brown Trottinette 140 ankle boots Mouse suede Forever Tina boots Purple fringed suede C'est Moi boots Black

1/29/2010 5:07 PM  
Blogger dgdgdf said...

C'est Moi boots Pink Charme 100 suede ankle boots Leopard suede boots Christian Louboutin Tuba Tall Boot Fifre Suede Ankle Boot black lace ankle boots Black Lace-Up Boots black fold-over boots black leather knee-high boots peep-toe bootie Christian Louboutin Astraqueen shoe boots platform lace-up bootie Christian Louboutin Suede Black Ankle boots supra fifre 120 thigh-high boots Christian Louboutin Alta Ariella Talon Leopard Boots Christian Louboutin OTK PlatformAfrica grey suede Boot Christian Louboutin Alta Ariella Talon Leopard Ankle Boots Christian Louboutin black leather ankle boots Christian Louboutin dark red leather ankle boots Manolo Blahnik Something Blue Satin Pump Manolo Blahnik Something Black Satin Pump Black patent leather sandals

1/29/2010 5:07 PM  
Blogger dgdgdf said...

Black patent leather sandals
Black sandals with Phnom Penh
Dark blue satin pumps
Jimmy Choo Black leather sandals
Jimmy Choo Black patent leather pumps

Jimmy Choo Black patent leather sandals
Jimmy Choo Gold Pumps
Jimmy Choo Pierced black leather sandals
Jimmy Choo Platform Purple Sandals
Jimmy Choo Platform Sandal

Jimmy Choo Platform Thirsty Blue Sandals
Jimmy Choo Platform Yellow Sandals
Jimmy Choo Satin Sandal
Jimmy Choo Snake Sandals
Jimmy Choo White leather Sandals

1/29/2010 5:07 PM  
Blogger dgdgdf said...

Silver patent leather high-heeled sandals
cow leather pump with stone emboss light purple cracking leather sandal purple patent leather shoes with black heel Yves Saint Laurent White Pumps Yves Saint Laurent Ankle Strap Sandal Yves Saint Laurent black patent leather Yves Saint Laurent black sheep leather pump Yves Saint Laurent bright grey patent leather Yves Saint Laurent Cage Platform Sandal Yves Saint Laurent grey leopord suede Yves Saint Laurent Grey suede Yves Saint Laurent light gold cracking leather sandal Yves Saint Laurent light red suede pump Yves Saint Laurent red patent leather sandal Yves Saint Laurent red suede

1/29/2010 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generic Cialis is the buzzword prescribed for all patients suffering from impotence. Generic Levitra is an FDA-approved oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Generic Viagra is used in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (impotence), but it is not a cure. Impotence can be caused by a number of factors, either physical or psychological. Viagra can help maintain an erection but it will not stimulate arousal.

5/03/2010 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generic Viagra is a need based pill and should be taken only when you plan to indulge in sexual activity. Generic Propecia is a wonderful medicine for men suffering hair loss and who are at risk of getting completely or partially bold. Propecia can also help you at the beginning stages of some prostatic problems. Viagra improves erections for most men no matter how long they have had erectile dysfunction, taken approximately 30 minutes before your plan of sexual activity and works on stimulation for around 4 hours.

5/15/2010 1:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home